With the number of cases of HPV-associated cancers on the rise, the American Dental Association (ADA) has adopted a policy that urges dentists to support the use and administration of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
The combined estimate by the American Cancer Society is that there will be more than 50,000 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancers in 2018, of which 70 to 80 percent will be attributable to HPV. The HPV vaccine could help prevent the vast majority of the oropharyngeal cases, but compared to other vaccines in the U.S., it is underutilized. According to the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, the single best predictor of whether a young person or adolescent receives the vaccine is a recommendation from a trusted health care professional.
“There is incontrovertible evidence that this virus is responsible for the sharp uptick in oropharyngeal cancers, especially in younger patients and young adults,” said Paul Eleazer, D.D.S., immediate past chair of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. “I’m pleased the ADA is taking action to combat this crisis.”
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